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Winter in the Air

Sylvia Townsend Warner

This Christmas, bask in these ‘diminutive masterpieces’ (Guardian) by the English genius behind Lolly Willowes.

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This Christmas, ‘hand yourself over to be enchanted’ (Guardian) by the English genius behind witchcraft classic Lolly Willowes.

‘Worth £9.99 for the book jacket alone (trust Faber) … It’s exquisite and shivery, just like the stories within … By turns creepy, melancholy, horrifying, tragic and beltingly romantic.’
Sunday Times
‘One of our finest writers.’ Neil Gaiman
One of the most shamefully under-read great British authors of the past 100 years.’ Sarah Waters
‘Diminutive masterpieces … Hand yourself over to be enchanted.’ Guardian
‘Extraordinary, lucid wildness.’ Helen MacDonald
‘Glinting perfection’
The Times

Decades after her divorce, a lady returns to the village of her tumultuous marriage. A railway carriage hosts a charged schoolboy encounter. A murder raises fears of blackmail. A woman waits anxiously in a café before eloping to Paris. Another steals a friend’s kitchen knife.

In these bittersweet tales, the author of Lolly Willowes reveals her mastery of the short story, celebrated by the New Yorker for decades. Sylvia Townsend Warner is a tragicomic chronicler of the heart’s entanglements, from marriages and affairs to widowhood; and a champion of outsiders, whether single women, the elderly or wartime refugees.

Witty and subversive, her stories meld tradition and transgression, with secret sins and fetishes as much a feature of English life as eccentric aunts, country houses and parish churches.

Sylvia TownsendWarner

Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) was a poet, novelist, journalist and musicologist. She grew up in Devonshire and was home-schooled for her rebellious behaviour. After World War II disrupted her musical studies, she moved to London to work in a munitions factory. With her partner Valentine Ackland, whom she lived with from 1930 until her death, Warner was active in the Communist…

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Sylvia TownsendWarner
Portrait of author Sylvia Townsend-Warner